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Craps : Playing Craps Safely

By Daniel Michaels

Level: Apr 30th 2007
In Craps the odds during the point phase of a roll can be increased or decreased by a player if he/she wagers on the Pass and Come, but he/she can not change the flat bet. The players that bet on Don;t Pass and Don;t come can change the flat bets, and by this they can also change the odds.

The player does not have too many options at the Pass and Come bets because he has an advantage towards the casino at the come-out rolls. A seven or an 11 is a win, but a two, three, or 12 means a loss.

From 36 combinations, the player has 4 ways to lose and 8 to win meaning he is favored 8-to-4 (2-to-1) to win. If on the come out any of the other 24 combinations appear, the game is turned into the point phase, and at this stage the casino has an advantage.

On fours and 10s the chances are 6-to-3, on fives and nines they are 6-to-4, and on sixes and eights they are 6-to-5. As you can see the casino did not offered the 8-4 chances without changing the situation later.

At the Don't pass and Don't come bets the situation is completely opposite: the player loses on seven or 11’s and wins on a 2, 3 or 12. He has 3 ways of winning and 8 ways of winning 1-to-1.

The situation changes again in the point phase of the game, when the odds turn into his favor. This situation is somewhat more convenient because the player has paid at the beginning and now it’s time to collect; if he’s lucky enough of course.

There are some players that don't take the bets off six and eights because they prefer to increase their advantage by going through another come-out, which hopefully will get them to another point stage of the game where they will have higher chances of winning.

What they do is wrong, because they have a higher chance of losing at the come-out stage than to reach another point stage. Also in the Don't bets, the odds are increased because a flat dollar has an increased value.

A flat dollar positioned behind the six or eight in the Don’t bets, is worth $1.09. The edge is increased even more on other numbers. A flat dollar placed on a five or a nine is worth $1.20, on a four or a 10 is $1.33. The value of the dollar in odds does not change, no matter on what point is placed.

It is advisable not to remove the bet if you have made it through the come-out roll on the Don't side. Let’s say you have made it through a Don't Pass and two Don't Come come-outs, and you have placed a $10 behind the four, five, and six. You don’t place the bet on Odds. If you hit a 7, you will recover your money and you will win $30, increasing your rack to $60.

You will lose $10 on any of your numbers but that $30 from the rack will be yours if you take down the bets. At risk the expected value of the $30 is $10.91 + $12.00 + $13.33 or $36.24, because the flat dollar has an increased value. Pretend that the shooter has hit many eights, nines, and 10s.

You will have $30 guaranteed if you take down the bets but you will lose that extra $6.24. On the next throw you can win in 6 ways, but lose in 12 ways. If you win, you win $30, but if you lose, you lose $10. How would you play in this situation?

The economists call this situation “utility theory”, because your feelings are split: pleasure of winning $30, but fear of losing $10. Some might consider that the $6.24 is not real and that not the current situation makes an advantage but the averages.
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